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Miriam McEwen

Family Dynamics, Short Stories

Broke Down Morning – A Short Story

Tree Gardner and her sister, Tomlyn, were not Southerners in the traditional sense. Their parents had come to South Carolina after a chance encounter at a tent revival in Savannah, Georgia. The father had worked on Wall Street before a slighted lover, who just so happened to be his boss, threatened to oust him for insider trading. He left town in a hurry, deciding he would “go on the road, you know, like Jack Kerouac.”…

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Disability, Feminism, Melancholy Comedy Blog

Any Day Now

I shall be released. Bob Dylan wrote the words in 1967 (and bless him for it), but I grew up on the Nina Simone version. And if you’re looking for my opinion, it is Ms. Simone’s song through and through. You believe her. She is completely triumphant, even in the sweet desperation heard in her voice. And there are times when the words and the melody plant themselves in my ear. I don’t always have…

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Breastfeeding, Disability, Melancholy Comedy Blog

Mother’s Milk – Breastfeeding Mothers

If you’ve known me for any length of time, or even if we’ve had a conversation averaging fifteen minutes (in a bar or in the hallway of an academic building or around a campfire), the odds are high that you know some unsolicited detail about my coming-of-age. I like to disperse these jewels. I want to demystify myself for you (yes, you).

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9/11 Attacks, Poems

Tuesdays in September – 9/11 Poetry

I have no harrowing story related to the events of 9/11, no personal tragedy. Seven-year-old me was safely tucked away in a classroom at James M. Brown Elementary School. That’s in Walhalla, South Carolina, notable for some suspect Southern hospitality and their annual Oktoberfest. It’s also just a twenty-minute drive down the mountain to the schoolhouse, versus the winding half-hour it takes to reach North Georgia. And though my mother is originally from Long Island, New York and I have extended family in Connecticut, on that Tuesday morning in 2001 as we pulled out of the driveway of our farm, I was more preoccupied with the well being of my puppy than impending terrorist attacks.

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Melancholy Comedy Blog, My Calico Cat

Creature Comfort – My Calico Cat

Creature Comfort The cat’s name is Finch. We sleep together. More accurately, she sleeps on top of me, and I wake up under the weight of her calico-fur coat, blanketed head to toe in sweat. She climbs up on the bed sometime during the night, after the house settles and the only sound is the faint whistle from the air-conditioning. I don’t mind the imposition of her spare warmth, even in the summer months, when…

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Sexual Assault, Short Stories

Harebrained Youth

I.   You might even know me. I am instantly recognizable by the way my eyes light up when someone (a man, say) in their mid-forties works the death of Kurt Cobain into casual conversation. Note to self – the word nevermind has implications when uttered in a bar after dark. “He was taken from us much too soon,” they say, as if the Nirvana frontman was beamed up by the grunge extraterrestrials who were good enough…

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